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Mallahan fundraising doubles McGinn's; both campaigns in debt
Posted by Jim Brunner
Update: have updated this post and headline now that Mike McGinn's campaign has filed its campaign summary report. Original post from last night is still below.
The latest campaign-finance reports in Seattle's mayoral race show Joe Mallahan increasing his fund-raising lead over Mike McGinn.
During the 10 days covered by the new reports, Mallahan raised $110,000 compared with $37,000 for McGinn.
Both campaigns report debts when future liabilities are counted. Mallahan's campaign is in the hole $106,000, mostly due to time reserved for TV ads.
McGinn's campaign is $31,000 in the red, also due to advertising buys.
Original post from last night:
Seattle mayoral candidate Joe Mallahan's campaign raised more than $110,000 over the last ten days but is more than $106,000 in the hole, according to the latest campaign-finance summary report filed with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
In all, Mallahan has raised more than $666,000, including $230,000 of his own money that he spent before the primary.
Over the 10 days covered by the report, Mallahan raised $110,000 and spent $130,000.
He reported a cash balance of $10,000 or so, compared with $116,000 in liabilities.
The debt includes more than $90,000 in TV advertising and $8,000 for a poll.
Mallahan's campaign treasurer Jason Bennett says this debt may not be as deep as it looks. By law, campaigns have to report all future obligations -- such as reserved television time -- even if the campaign doesn't actually wind up using all the time.
It's true that campaigns sometimes schedule more time than they wind up buying. For example, Bennett said the campaign received a $13,000 refund for unused TV time after the primary.
Bennett noted the campaign is raising money at a clip of $65,000 or more a week -- meaning even $100,000 in liabilities would get paid off in less than two weeks.
Still, Mallahan's opponent Mike McGinn has made an issue of the campaign debt -- attacking Mallahan for saying he'd run an efficient city government while spending his own campaign into the red.
I did quickly glance back at the 2001 mayoral election to see some comparisons. At roughly this point in that year, Greg Nickels' campaign was about $9,000 in the hole. His opponent, Mark Sidran, showed a debt of about $62,000.
Mallahan has said he won't contribute more of his personal wealth to the campaign.
If he wins, I'm sure we'll see various local interests willing to help the new mayor pay off any remaining campaign debt. If he loses, well, Mallahan may indeed have to dig into his own bank accounts to cover it.
I will update when the McGinn campaign files its own latest report, due by midnight.
As of Oct. 19, when he filed his last summary report, McGinn had raised $157,000, including a loan of $9,400 to his own campaign. At that point his campaign had a positive cash balance of $17,000.
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